Groups seek Supreme Court review of EPA’s GHG regulations

Four oil and gas associations—American Petroleum Institute, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, Independent Petroleum Association of America, and Western States Petroleum Association—joined 20 other business groups on Apr. 18 in asking the US Supreme Court to review the US Environmental Protection Agency’s regulation of greenhouse gases.

“EPA’s regulation of [GHGs] from stationary sources is one of the most costly, complex and encompassing energy regulatory issues facing manufacturers and is damaging to our global competitiveness,” National Association of Manufacturers Pres. Jay Timmons said on the coalition’s behalf.

“We are asking the Supreme Court to take up the case as it is clear that significant legal issues need to be addressed given the two persuasive dissents from the US Court of Appeals,” Timmons said.

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, with Judges Brett Kavanaugh and Janice Rogers Brown dissenting, denied the group’s request on Dec. 20, 2012, to rehear a three-judge panel’s decision upholding EPA’s interpretation.

“The judgment of the court of appeals plainly warrants review,” the coalition’s petition said. “That decision adopts an EPA interpretation of the Clean Air Act that the agency concedes produces ‘absurd’ consequences inconsistent with congressional intent, and it allows the agency to address those consequences by exercising effectively unrestricted discretion to rewrite—on an ongoing basis—separate, explicit statutory directives in order to revise the scope of the statute’s coverage.”

The American Chemistry Council, in a separate statement, said, “We hope the Supreme Court recognizes the critical importance of the issue we are presenting and agrees to hear our challenge to EPA’s regulations.”

ACC added, “Quite simply, the rules are fundamentally flawed, as they are based on EPA’s attempt to use the [CAA’s Prevention of Significant Deterioration] program to regulate greenhouse gases at industrial facilities despite the fact that GHGs are not criteria pollutants with established National Ambient Air Quality Standards.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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